"Don't get me wrong. I love my van and it is a pleasure to drive, but i would now call it a lemon.
Honda replaced the first transmission after 40k miles free of charge. Since we are a Honda family and always have been happy with the brand + their excellent reputation, I assumed this problem was fixed and was looking forward to drive this van for the legendary 200k + miles Hondas are famous for.
Now, at 101k miles, the check engine & TCS lights came on. Had hubby take van in; dealer ran diagnostics for $90 and says: need new transmission for $3,300. Hubby said: "no thanks" and drove it home.
I called my regular service adviser at the dealership and she was astonished to hear that no offer of "free replacement" was made. I brought my van in the next day. Now it was more like "I'm sure we can do something for you". They would have to talk to American Honda (AH).
2 days later they reported that AH was offering to pay 50% on a rebuilt transmission. Anyway, somehow the price was set at $1300. I said: "NO, we shouldn't be having this problem in the first place". They went back to AH and now we are at $1024 for the tranny with a 3yr/36k warranty. I am willing to pay $500 and just consider it very expensive transmission maintenance / or insurance, since given the Honda track record on this, it won't be the last tranny I'm putting into this van.
I finished my negotiations with Honda yesterday... ended up calling American Honda because the dealership service wouldn't go any lower. End result: I'm paying 25% of the bill which is $630.
At this point the car has been at dealer service for nearly 2 weeks and I need it back! Otherwise, I would not have taken the offer.
I am the original owner, have never abused the car, and have had all my service done at the dealership.
This has left a very bad taste in my mouth, and has ended my 20-year love affair with Honda.
I have 3 young adult children that have watched this from the sidelines. They would have been lifetime Honda buyers, but are surely looking at other brands now. I wonder if Honda thinks $630 are worth that."
"I bought and have recommended Honda to many many others based on the assumption that they have a good reputation for building a quality product. The bottom line is that there is a known issue with the transmission on this vehicle and they aren't standing behind it. I paid a premium for this vehicle with the assumption that I would not have major issues for an extended period of time and I was wrong. I know that all cars will have issues, but if there is a known defect, stand behind your workmanship, fix it and customers will remember that when they go to buy a new vehicle. All I remember now is that they hung me out to dry with a $3000 transmission bill and the nagging thought that the new one may not last very long either. Besides the lack of Honda to stand behind their defective transmission, I enjoyed driving the Odyssey and it had no other major issues. It is very roomy, fun to drive and had no other major quirks. I would have continued to buy and recommend Honda's, but I can't.
Sorry...You lost a good long term customer."
"After 200,000 miles I can say that this is one of the most dependable vehicles I have ever owned with one exception. The transmission was replaced just before 100,000 miles under warranty. Honda has a bit of history with transmission troubles in this era. Having said that, almost every other major system is still original. The A/C lasted to 195,000. Other vans I have owned cost far more in repairs than even the cost of a transmission so this is still a winner in my book."
"We purchased our Odyssey in '02, knowing the Honda reputation and planning on driving the van for 10 years. At 6 years and 139000 miles, we have replaced the transmission (AH gave us a "deal" with a cost of $2500) and had water pump, heat, and electrical problems with our van. At this point, I am ready to replace rather than repair it again- it hesitates when shifting. All maintainence was done with Honda dealership- expensive! I don't feel we got our $$ worth with this van."
Pros: "Reliability, roomy, quality human engineering"
Cons: "Locks, door and ignition wore out"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Owned this car for nearly ten years. It was not coddled. It has performed superbly this whole time. I did treat it to synthetic motor oil but other than that it has been driven hard. NO major problems. Even the battery went seven years without problems"
"Drives great, seats 7 passengers, great power, great engine, safe care BUT 4TH TRANSMISSION REPLACEMENT before 150,000 miles. BEWARE of 2001 Honda Odyssey engine is too strong for the weak transmission. First two transmissions repairs covered by Honda, last two paid by me."
Pros: "Fun to drive, A/C still cold with no maint, strong"
Cons: "electric windows and doors act up"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Been Abused in every way possible! neglect, children, dogs, hauling, long road trips, limited maint, multiple wrecks, and victim of a fallen tree!! All this and it just keeps running great. Window and door motors beginning to fail, misc electric oddities, TCS now acting up. But- overall the best vehicle I've ever known of. Bought new and would love another someday! Not sure how many of my issues could have been prevented with proper maint, but that is WHY I bought the Honda brand."
"I am currently getting ready to replace my transmission for the third time. I really like my Honda and its performance except the transmission. I had it replaced during the recall back in 2005. Now in 2008 it has just went up. The warranty has ended and now I have to try and come up with $3,658.50 for a new transmission. This would make this the third time in only 8 years that the transmission is installed. I currently have 118,000 miles on my 2001 odessey. It clearly is a major issue with the odessey's transmission. If I come up with the cash I will replace the transmission in hopes of at least getting 200,000 miles out of my Honda, but I am really starting to reconsider my position on the quality of Honda's cars. I usually recommend Honda to everyone. NOT SO SURE NOW!"
"I bought this car used at 39k miles. Everything seems to be in working order accept for the AC. Had to change the compressor. Old owner never changed the cabin filter. I also had the transmission fluid changed with honda ATF. Remember only use Honda ATF fluid, or your will have transmission issues and eventually failure.
I used the van to haul people, furniture, garbage on and off for 3 years and the van just past 53k miles. The transmission started acting funny. I immediately went to the dealership to have the fluid changed with Honda ATF and the transmission seems better. The mechanic at the Honda dealer recommended changing the transmission fluid every 10k to avoid issues and to install a transmission cooler. That's my next To-Do for this van.
Let's cross our fingers."
"Replaced transmission @ 100K mi. Keep it maintained and it just keeps on going. I use it in a small business. It's like a truck. The paint is starting to chip off. I haven't been good keeping it waxed. The interior is almost like new."